Lissau Family Palace
(The Old Town Square)
After 1700, reconstruction and partial new building; demolished in 1896; master builder Rudolf; demolished 1896; investor Rudolf Joseph Count of Lissau
Prague's tour begins in the Old Town Square although we cannot find any Santini's work today. However, the Old Town Square has been still the heart of the town by now (in the times of Santini it was a conurbation) where Jan Santini was born and died, and of course, where he also worked. Moreover, a building designed by Santini really used to be situated here originally.
The Lissau Family Palace, not existing anymore, belonged to the Santini's earlies implementations. Unfortunately, we do not know the exact time when Santini performed the radical reconstruction of several older buildings, thus creating a representative residency of the imperial chamberlain and district administrator of the Prague's Old Town, Rudolf Joseph Count of Lissau. We only know that it was sometimes after the year 1700 and that the palace was completed in 1705. It had been preserved without fundamental changes until demolition in 1896, when it gave way, a bit unreasonably, to breaking through the Parizska Street. Today, we know the building's façade mainly thanks to a few historical photographs from the end of the 19th century, and we know the diminished appearance of the building from the Langweil's Model of Prague. Thus, we can see the way of Santini's early creation.
The façade design reminds Prague's palace facades by G. B. Alliprandi, the significant architect and master builder of Italian origin, who brought mainly inspirations from Vienna's architecture to Prague of that time though. As it is apparent, the young Santini accepted this influence, but had already used these elements with admirable craft. It is evident for example from the couple of portals arrangement and the window situated between them, reminding of the Morzin Palace design. Play with individual plans of the façade when Santini situates the buttress as though into the wider buttress area is also a design solution known from other Santini's buildings, as well as an artful variation of sills above windows. Explicit creative project is also evident in the general impression of the bulky façade of the palace, practically half hidden behind the lower and spacious Krenn House.
Unfortunately we do not know how interiors of the palace used to look like. Besides the façade, we only know the extraordinary layout of the trapezium and strictly symmetrically created courtyard.
This order was very significant for Jan Santini because Rudolf Joseph Count of Lissau recommended him to other noblemen afterwards, and became godfather of Santini's two older children, too. Most probably, Santini also designed pedestal of St Anne Sculpture. Rudolf Joseph Count of Lissau got mounted it on Charles Bridge in 1707. Author of the sculpture itself was the sculptor Matej Vaclav Jäckel with whom Santini often co-operated in his works of art.